EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Athena

Athena is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Hilary Tomlinson and she is ready to take over the world with her stunning debut EP ‘Dreamland’. The record showcases the singers smoky sound, and glides effortlessly between traditional pop and lighter EDM.

Here we speak exclusively to Athena to discuss her new project:

Your debut EP is out now, can you talk us through the inspiration behind the tracks?

I’ve always felt a little different and removed from most people, which is why my alter ego is an alien, and therefore unfamiliar with how the world works. The EP tells a story not only of my first time on Earth, but my time trapped in Dreamland, a state of mind that warps reality in dark but beautiful ways. It’s an allegory for my struggles with trauma and mental illness.

The first song, HUMAN, is about the seductive wonder of experiencing something (or someone) new for the first time and getting lost in that feeling.

The darkest song MONSTER is about giving in to your own darker side and enjoying your own demise.

RUNAROUND is the point in the story where all the magic has worn off, and you are stuck in a desolate place of desperation and obsession.

The turning point of the story, FEELING THINGS, is the realization that everything might not be as it seems, and trying to see through the smoke and mirrors inside your own mind to find the truth.

The final song COUNT ME IN is a return to love after a long period of being lost. It’s exciting and vulnerable and filled with excruciating hope for the future.

Can you tell us a little about the writing process for the record?

I started this record in the middle of my own dark period. The first song we wrote and recorded was RUNAROUND, and I wrote in on my third consecutive day of not sleeping. I was losing my mind and music was the only way I knew how to return to sanity. As I started forming the story of Dreamland around my own experiences, the rest of the songs sort of fell into place. 

What do you hope fans take from the EP?

Music has always been my way of dealing with my own overwhelming emotions. Whether it’s writing my own music or experiencing someone else’s, I take comfort in the feeling of a safe space where I can be honest with myself. If anyone can hear this album and relate to those feelings and realize they aren’t alone, that would be a big victory for me. That’s what I care about. 

Which song are you most excited about fans hearing from the EP?

That’s so difficult! Probably FEELING THINGS. It’s one of the new songs, and it sums up the main theme of the album: finding yourself in the middle of the struggle. It’s also sonically my favorite song from the album, I worked on it with Mick Utley and with Jon Santana and I’m really proud of how it turned out. It sounds like something I want to listen to, if that makes sense. It sounds exactly like it should. 

Do you plan on touring your new music?

I don’t currently have any plans to tour, although I’m having a big show in Nashville on 11/3 that we are calling the kickoff of the Dreamland Intergalactic Tour (since I’m an alien after all.) It’s going to be a fully transporting experience, and I’d love to tour it eventually

Make sure you follow Athena on Twitter @whos_athena to keep up to date with all her latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

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